Performances

Sibyl Kempson: 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens: Winter Solstice

Jan 21, 2018

Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater

This event is free with museum admission, and is first-come first-seated.

The eighth Shout in this cycle of twelve rituals celebrates the Winter Solstice, which occurs at exactly 11:28 am EST on December 21, 2017. The performance will begin at 10:30 am and will continue until the museum closes at 6 pm. Audience members are invited to arrive and depart at anytime throughout the day.

The beginning of winter is a reminder of the important shift from darkness towards light. Astrological readings suggest that as the days begin to grow longer, the presence of the sun encourages all inner transformations to take an outward shape. At the Solstice, we begin to balance the deepest, darkest recesses of memory with the vast horizons of consciousness. As the day unfolds, the theater gradually transitions into four distinct scenic landscapes. Each encourages the viewer to contemplate the interplay between internal and external worlds, and between memory and imagination. These environments are conjured from the mythic tales that were told in last year’s winter Shout, refining their imagery surrounding fate, life and death. According to the artist this Shout is led by the strength of dreams which express a biological truth.

For this Winter Solstice, 7 Daughters asks the following questions: What is the purpose / value of Justice? How can we create transcendence from deception? If you’re lying about who you are, can your good deeds be counted? Can you say the wrong thing to make the right thing happen? What do we band together under? What last-minute evidence will change the Judgment? Can a performance save the world? 

At 11:28 am, the exact moment of the Solstice, and again at 4:32 pm, when the sun sets, a winter bell-ringing ceremony will create a space for sanctuary. Visitors are invited to make a wish for the planet for the coming year as individuals, and as a collective.

12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens is a three-year iterative performance project by American playwright, director, and performer Sibyl Kempson with her theater company, 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co. Presented at the Whitney on twelve occasions, 12 Shouts will mark each solstice and equinox occurring between March 2016 and December 2018 creating a new ceremonial calendar and a contemporary mythology.

About the Artists

Sibyl Kempson is a playwright, director, and performer, and a 2014 United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow. She founded 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co. in 2015. Her plays have been presented in NYC, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Omaha, Bonn, and Austin, TX. She is a graduate of New Dramatists, Class of '17, a 2010 MacDowell Colony Fellow and a 2013–14 McKnight National Resident and Commissionee.

Performers
Kira Alker
Rolls André
Dee Dorcas Beasnael
Lisa Holm
Robert M. Johanson
Sibyl Kempson
Elke Luyten
Stephen McGroarty
Jodi Melnick
Rachel Perks
Jessica Weinstein
Sarah Willis
Jay Wegman
Molly Zimmelman

Collaborators
Jared Bark and Lois Lane: Set Design
Tei Blow: sound design
Suzanne Bocanegra: costume design
Max Chester: lighting design
Diana Mangaser: designer of bells
Omie Johnson: astrological dramaturgy
Kira Alker and Elke Luyten: choreography
Molly Zimmelman: stage management
Gail Blobner, Judy Breese, Lisa Holm, and Rachel Perks: knitters

Production Assistance
Johnny Gasper: sound assistance
Baille Younkman: costume assistance
Jason Hughes LNJ Tech: production assistance
Rachel Perks: intern
Whitney Youth Insights Artists (Aneka, Angela, Chelsea, Clara, Diana, Irving, Jaylene, John, Laura, Lilly, Mara, Maxine, Minu, Miyani, Onaje, Seth, and Zachary): slide contributors

The Susan and John Hess Family Theater is equipped with an induction loop and infrared assistive listening system. Accessible seating is available. If you have questions about accessibility, or requests for accommodations, please email accessfeedback@whitney.org or call (212) 671-1823 (relay calls welcome). Learn more about access services.